Colorado Arts Spotlight: Things to know and do around the state March 8-10

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Jeremy Daniel, courtesy of DCPA and the Hairspray National Tour.
Caroline Eiseman (center), as Tracy Turnblad, and company perform the number ‘You can’t Stop the Beat’ in the new national touring production of Hairspray.

This all-new touring production of the Broadway hit Hairspray arrived in Denver this week. The award-winning creative team led by director Jack O’Brien and choreographer Jerry Mitchell aims to bring the musical to a new generation of theater audiences. 

This company includes Christy Oberndorf, from Aurora, on her first national tour. Hairspray, Oberndord said, has always been her favorite musical, and coming back to her hometown feels like a full circle moment. Oberndorf appeared in “Mama Mia” at BDT Stage in Boulder and “Beauty and the Beast” at the Arvada Center before going of to New York City,

“I just got so much experience in training here in Colorado and it actually is really what propelled me, I think, to book this [tour] is all my training and experience here.” Oberndorf said.

The show’s run did meet with some misfortune at the start — water damage to the Buell Theatre canceled opening night on Tuesday. The cause is being investigated. The Denver Center for the Performing Arts was optimistic that performances could resume today, but has determined that one more day is needed to complete the load-in and thoroughly test their systems. 

The Denver Center will contact patrons and offer them the opportunity to exchange their tickets for an alternate performance or receive a refund. Performances are expected to resume tomorrow, Thursday, March 7.

Ticket holders are advised to check their emails for updates on future performances.

Hairspray plays the Denver Center just until March 10.

The Town of Frisco and the Frisco Arts and Culture Council are currently searching for the right artist to create an outdoor mural for the pedestrian/bicycle tunnel under Highway 9. 

This tunnel connects the multi-use recreational pathways from the Peninsula Recreation Area (PRA) and the County Commons on the south side of Frisco and the art is meant to be inviting and in the spirit of the town’s arts and cultural plan. The selected artist will be paid between $20,000 and $30,000 for their work.

Entry deadline is March 15, at 5 p.m. Submission guidelines can be found here.

Courtesy of the Colorado Ballet
Publicity photo from the Colorado Ballet production of Coppélia, March, 2024.

Friday, March 8

The Colorado Ballet is performing Coppélia, a critically acclaimed ballet adapted from two short stories by E.T.A. Hoffmann, after a fifteen-year hiatus from the Denver stage. The fanciful love story about mistaken identity is famous for its delightful combination of classical sensibility and wit.

Colorado Ballet’s production of Coppélia, with the Colorado Ballet Orchestra, runs from March 8 - 17 at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House in Denver.

"Inventing Van Gogh", opening Friday at the Breckenridge Backstage Theatre, tells the fictional story of the artist’s final self-portrait, painted right before his death and never seen by anyone until now. Steven Dietz’s play follows a modern-day painter, who is hired to create a replica of the final masterpiece and finds himself in a confrontation with Van Gogh himself. The play is a mystery, exploring the obsession to create and the fine line that separates truth from fiction.

Inventing Van Gogh By Steven Dietz opens March 8 and runs through March 31 at the Breckenridge Backstage Theater in Breckenridge.

The ROX Arts Gallery, managed by the Roxborough Arts Council, is an artist cooperative featuring 35-40 local artists and a wide range of artwork. The group hosts its “March Madness” Second Friday art show and reception this week with the goal of throwing out the rulebook and embracing the wild side of art. The works on view “push boundaries and ignite imaginations.”

March Madness 2nd Friday Art Show and Reception, Friday, March 8 from 5:30 - 7:00 p.m. at Rox Arts Gallery, 7301 South Santa Fe Drive in Littleton.

Hart Van Denburg/CPR News
The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, July 21, 2021.

Saturday, March 9

The Playground Ensemble performs music from Stanley Kubrick’s famous movie "The Shining" in the eerie and mystical atmosphere of The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park. The film’s score was primarily composed by the Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki, a significant figure in the world of music experimentation and innovation. The concert is part of an immersive two-day “mini-fest” hosted by the bizarre and captivating experimental rock band, Sleepytime Gorilla Museum.

The Playground Ensemble performs Saturday, March 9, at 7 p.m. at the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park.

Broomfield's current artist in residence, Alcoléa & Cie, presents “Right in the Eye,” a concert/cinematic event that includes twelve short films by early cinema and special effects maestro Georges Méliès. (Who you may remember from the 2011 Martin Scorsese picture “Hugo.”) The three musicians of the Alcoléa et Cie ensemble will play 50 rare, unique, and hand-built instruments on stage during the screening.

Alcoléa & Cie presents Right in the Eye, Saturday, March 9, at 7 p.m. and Sunday, March 10, at 2 p.m. at the Broomfield Auditorium.

Courtesy of the Grand Junction Symphony
The Grand Junction Symphony Orchestra presents “Classics 4: Vivid Strings" the weekend of March 9 and 10.

All Weekend

The Grand Junction Symphony Orchestra presents “Classics 4: Vivid Strings,” its fourth classics concert of the season, with soloists Brian Krinke, GJSO Concertmaster, & Amelia Krinke. The program includes Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6, Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante for Violin and Viola and Orchestra, and Samuel Coleridge-Taylor’s The Bamboula.

Classics 4: Vivid Strings, by the Grand Junction Symphony Orchestra runs Saturday and Sunday, March 9 - 10, at the Avalon Theatre in Grand Junction.

Boulder Ballet's winter show Minefield features work by three choreographers — Andrea Schermoly, Brandon Ragland and Ben Needham-Wood — inspired by groundbreaking research on the body's ability to promote wellness. Three distinct yet intertwined dance compositions are meant to promote mental wellness and movement therapy. Despite its reflective theme, the company does warn audiences that “Minefield” contains brief simulations and suggestions of physical violence that some could find distressing.

Boulder Ballet Presents “Minefield” runs Friday through Sunday, March 8 , 9, and 10 at the Dairy Arts Center in Boulder.

Courtesy of Buntport Theater
Buntport Theater ensemble member Brian Colonna (front) in '125 "No"s', March 2023.

Buntport Theater debuts its new comedic play, "125 'NO's" this month. The show is based on an anecdote about the filming of the 1947 movie "Desire Me," during which Greer Garson had to do 125 takes of the word "no" for a single scene. 

Ensemble member Brian Colonna said the Buntport team was inspired by a visit to the Chez Artiste theater in Denver for a screening of mockumentary “Theater Camp.”

“In the lobby of the theater was this display for an upcoming series that they were running. And that anecdote was there in the theater lobby… So we read it and then it went into the group collective as a silly idea,” Colonna explained.

The play follows the story of four people working on the movie, as they pass time during this crazy moment of repetitive takes.

"125 'NO's" runs through March  23 at Buntport Theater in Denver.

Other arts and culture events around Colorado

How we pick our events: CO Arts Spotlight highlights events around the state to give readers a sense of the breadth of Colorado’s arts and cultural happenings, it is not — and can not possibly be — a comprehensive list of all weekly events. Entries are not endorsements or reviews. Each week’s list is published on Thursday and is not updated. Some groups that appear on the list may also be financial sponsors of CPR but have no input into our editorial choices.

Some groups mentioned in the Spotlight may be financial supporters of CPR News. Financial supporters have no editorial influence.

Editor's Note: Due to an editing error, an earlier version of this story incorrectly stated how many years the Colorado Environmental Film Festival has been in operation. Also, the spelling of Paul Stroili's name has been corrected.